Savannah, Georgia - St Augustine, Florida
We continue two hours south on Monday. Hwy 17 takes us to state number 40 - Georgia! With our sped-up travel time we'll only see Savannah this time, but it's a state I definitely want to see more of.
The Biltmore RV Park is small and old, and our satellite-access site is right on the highway, so it's also very noisy.
At the recommendation of the park staff we head to Tybee Island for late lunch. AJ's Dockside is a cute little spot with mediocre food and yummy watermelon margaritas. With a break in the humidity we're happy to spend time outside.
We've had mostly good experience with trolley tours so we try another one to see historic Savannah. This time we're in an open-sided trolley, but unfortunately our visibility is more limited. Still, we see a very old and beautiful city, and learn lots of wonderful history.
Throughout the day we see dozens of buildings, parking lots, exhibits, museums, theaters, vehicles and more with the SCAD logo. Turns out the Savannah College of Art and Design has a huge presence here with over 14,000 students from all 50 states and 10 countries.
Taking what we learn from the tour, we return on our own to some of the places we like the most.
|The story is that she waved at every passing ship for years, expecting her love to return home to her.|
|This cobblestone road is where the ribbon ceremony was held for the 1996 Olympic rowing event. They must have dressed it up more!|
|Honoring Haitians who fought in the Revolutionary War.|
|The Candler Oak - older than our country.|
|Over 200 years old - hard to imagine all the changes he's seen.|
|Cathedral of St John the Baptist|
We're enjoying our city visits, but we're also ready for some time back in nature. On Wednesday Bill finds the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge (which is actually not even in Georgia - it's on the north side of the river in South Carolina). We laugh when the first building we see is a SCAD facility! The six mile loop takes us through trees, marsh and river where we see wonderful birds - and alligators!!
|A whole different world.|
|Great Blue Heron|
|These giant water lillies wave at us in the breeze.|
|Seeing an alligator in the wild is very exciting!|
|He seems as curious about us as we are about him.|
|More "moss" than tree.|
|From a distance, I think this is a toad.....|
|Ewwwe! Back in the Jeep!|
|Another alligator. They never blink!|
|At the end of the loop we find our last alligator of the day. What fun to see these amazing animals.|
|At the address for the plantation we find this has taken its place. So depressing!!|
Thursday we're on the road again. The humidity is back as well. We keep thinking we'll get out of it either by calendar or map, but it seems to keep finding us :-(
Thursday we make it to the third historic city of the southeast's trifecta - St Augustine is the oldest continuous settlement in the country. While beautiful in many areas, it is a disappointment after the other two.
St John's RV Park is the most reasonable option with a Passport America rate ($35) when you can't get into the state park, and is fine for our few nights here. We have a level road base parking spot surrounded by well maintained grass and tall trees. 50 amp FHUs with satellite access and fair WiFi.
Do you have friends on Facebook who you're not sure how or when they became friends? And no other friends in common? I have one, and really like Chris. We have important things in common, like being Steelers fans and loving animals, and I enjoy her posts. Fortunately she's been following our route and reaches out when we're in Savannah. Will we be near Jacksonville and do we want to get together? Yes and yes!! She warns of the Gator/Bulldog game at the Jaguars' NFL stadium we plan to visit on Saturday, so we change our Jacksonville plans to Friday.
|Used for other sporting events, there is very little Jaguars' branding at their stadium.|
|A first for us, the pro shop is only open on game days so I don't get my pin. I do find this one Jaguar along the back fence. Reminds me of the Thundercats my boys watched on Saturday morning cartoons!|
|Looking very Florida.|
|I almost missed the statue - he's very cool!|
This trolley is different, with three cars attached, open on both sides, very narrow and hard seats. Think Disneyland parking lot shuttle. There are dozens of them throughout the city, taking up more than half of the small streets. The guide does a nice job of pointing out the interesting sights that are surrounded by tourist shops and bars.
The first thing we learn is that Ponce de Leon was first mate on Christopher Columbus' second voyage to the New World. We didn't remember that from history class! The second thing we learn is that Henry Flagler is much more important in St Augustine history than Ponce de Leon.
|Several narrow streets were designed with two story buildings on either side to increase air flow from the water to the city center for natural air conditioning during the sweltering summers.|
|Originally the Flagler Hotel, Flagler College is the beautiful highlight of city central.|
|The details are beautiful.|
|Henry Flagler made a significant impact on the shaping of St Augustine.|
|Ponce de Leon Hall|
|The home of Cora Tyson who hosted Dr Martin Luther King, Jr several times during the height of the civil rights movement. She is 94 years old. She still lives here.|
|I love pink houses, and this one is a beauty.|
|On National Geographic's list of Most Beautiful Streets in America - Magnolia Avenue is lined with old growth oaks.|
|Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, on the shore of St Augustine. With palm log fortifications, deep moats and coaquina construction, there are many interesting stories about this site.|
Back in California, Grandson #3 Mason, is amping up the cute in keeping with his brother and cousin!
|2 months old|